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New firework law will reduce animal suffering
– animal welfare fireworks coalition celebrates historic moment

A coalition of the UK's leading animal welfare groups is rejoicing as a Fireworks Bill passed successfully though Parliament and became law. This means pets, assistance dogs and wildlife will be protected from the year-round distress they suffer due to fireworks.

Under the new law, fireworks will be controlled by restricting their sale and use to certain times of the day and year and public firework displays will be licensed.

 The Animal Welfare Fireworks Coalition, which supported the Bill as it progressed through Parliament, believes it is essential the Government now ensures regulations introduced under the Bill are strong enough to deliver what the public expects. In a recent MORI poll, 71 per cent of people surveyed agreed that loud fireworks should only be used at public displays.

 A spokesman for the Coalition said: "We are delighted this historic opportunity to prevent the widespread suffering of thousands of animals has come to fruition. We hope that as a result of this new law and subsequent regulations, thousands of people around the UK, their pets and working dogs will have an improved quality of life."

 The coalition will now press the DTI and the Health and Safety Executive to look closely at how further changes might be made to reduce the impact made by noisy fireworks on pets, for example by setting a maximum noise level. This follows a commitment by the DTI Minister during the committee stage of the Bill.

 Thousands of animals are sedated, bolt from firework noise and are victims of traffic accidents every year. For example, a number of guide dogs have to be retired or re-trained due to the trauma caused by fireworks. Last year, six guide dogs had to be retired at a cost of £35,000 each. Many others were retrained. Besides the financial cost, many guide dog owners are left without the independence and mobility that their guide dogs provide.